Monday, April 28, 2008


Overflowing toilets and getting pulled over by a cop.

Those were the reasons why I woke up at 4AM this morning. Knowing I had another 4 hours to go before meeting friends at the beach, I tried forcing the nightmares out of my head, skipping through various time frames of my life, eventually remembering things I had long forgotten. How easily does one forget things that happen in their lives at age 9, 17, 19, and even the recent twenty-something.

I was in Milan, a comic book in hand, while my parents shopped at the Giorgio Armani fashion house. I remember how terribly bored I was counting the days till we went home where the bed was familiar and access to my very own library was near. That is my memory of Milan. Not Duomo di Milano or Castello Sforzesco. Just being extremely annoyed with my parents for putting me through what seemed like torture. When we stayed at a wooden ski lodge in Zermatt, our next stop, my 9-year-old mind immediately marked Switzerland as the best European country ever. Grocery shopping will never be as fun, and the smell of roast chicken out of the oven will never be the same. There, I fed swans, met my favorite cousin, and more memorably, had access to the whole Tintin edition. Albeit being written entirely in French, I was deliriously happy.

At 17, I experienced first love. It's easy to reminisce the innocence of it all, and how dreamy the simple act of holding hands felt. Every word that came out of my mouth in his presence was carefully engineered. Every tuck of my long fringe behind my ear and every outfit picked for every date. Those too, were engineered. I remember watching his band play, feeling extreme pride as the young crowd cheered. Endless nights at the playground talking about nothing marked our relationship spanning all the way through college. This charade, unbeknown to us, lasted a good 3 and half years to the surprise of my friends. Of course it helped that there were secret travels to-and-from Europe, and the biggest move, making plans for an internship in London just to be closer; leaving my best friends in Boston as I spent the next 6 months with another set of best friends, and living a luxurious life I couldn't quite afford. Champagne, clubs, scones and clotted cream. Pied a Terre, Oasis, Topshop and Zara. Those were things I did without for 2 years either because I wasn't yet 21 or because I just lived in a different world.

Skipping a year, to my last semester at college. With mini skirts under long winter coats, my best friend and I made our presence as Naughty and Nice. Week days were as weekends were: full of ridiculous endeavors. Things I'd never in my practical mind do, we did anyway. Being waited on anxiously by my second family while playing cards and drinking iced lemonade in a supposed gang member's den during the wee hours were one of the many. These crazy nights out lasted 2 whole months before the bf and I started an unexpected new chapter.

Since then, getting picked up at school by Chris wasn't the same as it was before. It was giggler, newer, and accompanied by butterflies in my stomach. Witnessing my love for a friend grow to something more was scary and fascinating at the same time. I had plans to go home, back to the place I was so attached to, where life was pretty much handed to me and family was close. This all changed through a teary conversation at the Boston Commons, right after Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 9/11. For the first time since Freshman year, I cooked and looked for a job as I convinced my parents that cohabitation was ok.

I can't remember when the Kayuga nights stopped. But I miss them very much as I sit in my cubicle making sure projects run seamlessly under my supervision. "Clichéd as it is," I thought out loud, "...time really flies. "

That's when I fell back into deep slumber.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Topsy turvy meals

Ginger spice cookie

Because the bf's not around to yell at me every time I pick up a cookie before dinner, I've been having desserts before main courses. It doesn't make a difference anyway because my appetite's insatiable. I don't know what the fuss is all about :)

Sweets from Citizen Cupcake

Sticky toffee

Pineapple upside down

Crab and shrimp ravioli with rocket pesto

...topped with parmesan and cracked black pepper

Finally, a colorful salad made with leftover grilled steak

Today, it was an endless stream of free Ben & Jerry cones before an Indian dinner. You're on my eating buddy list Trung! If you can handle dessert before dinner, you're in too :)

There's a first for everything

  1. Getting kicked out of the dry cleaner's
  2. Watching a band you didn't know
  3. Loving vodka like it's water
  4. Being called shallow and lovely at the same time (I am SO not shallow you-know-who-you-are!)
  5. Walking through the Stockton tunnel at 12:30 in the AM
  6. Greeting beaming late night workers on their way home
  7. Spending Saturday night with Hulu
  8. Allowing yourself to be lectured/advised on something you didn't quite care about
  9. Making lychee martinis on a whim
  10. Saving $3 on bus fare walking downtown, and making an impulsive purchase 400 times that

That sums up my week.

I do so wish Livie or Wendy (even the bf!) were here to shop with, cause it starts to get old without company.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Girlfriend therapy

Beautiful 7-mile hike in Mill Valley's Mt. Tam with Melissa and Rachel

Catching up over blood orange bellinis and sweets at the Candybar on a school night

What more could a girl ask for?

Sunday, April 20, 2008


This recent post raised a lot of concerns from friends and family alike. Apologies to all who reached out. It was really thoughtful of you.

My intent really wasn't to alarm, but rather to lament.
It's been a long month of uncertainties with good news disappearing almost as quickly as they came. Like all phases, this too shall pass. I believe hope it's nothing a good cupcake and champagne party can't fix.

Seeking comfort with warm soupy foods...

...and shopping. Of course.

You know you're definitely not single when decent guys approach you to introduce themselves; and you:

a) scurry away with a shocked look on your face
b) blurt "I have a bf" before they even have time to explain their intentions
c) offend them beyond comprehension with your aloofness
d) all of the above

It seems like downtown's the place for young guys to stop girls in their tracks even when you have your iPod on. Single gals - take note.

I hope none of these guys are people I will meet again in the near future -- especially not for business. The bf was very assuring, and explained how it's normal for guys to seem pissed off every time you ignore them because it's an ego thing. I feel so sorry for coming off rude, but it's really more because I don't know how to react.


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Wintry moments melted with sunshine

Inari sushi and plum onigiri

A friend mentioned recently how my blog posts have been getting boring. That "the food is great, but who the f*** cares about the Olympic torch?!" With everything going on and decisions to be made, it's hard to focus on something as trivial as a low-traffic blog like mine. Hence I digress with pictures of a sunny afternoon picnic at Washington Square Park:

Leo with his dad

Is that the typical North Beach b***t remains I smell?

Sweetest married couple ever

He doesn't mind me after all!

Leo resting

Treats for the picnic

From left, chocolate-filled marshmallows, Bourbon raisin sand, Bourbon baum roll, green tea chocolate cookies & green tea hard candy

Heart-warming moment of the day: little tot laughing after tumbling on the grass in attempt to kick a soccer ball

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I gave up something very dear to me today

In the grand scheme of things, it's not a big deal. But despite knowing that in the back of my mind, it still stung pretty bad.


Friday night. No one's on IM and nothing's happening on Facebook's News Feed. Here I am in my apt, snuggled up on the couch with 3 fleece blankets, the smell of toasted almonds wafting from the kitchen. I have Peter Jackson's King Kong playing on mute, and Jay Chou's playing on iTunes. Every 5 minutes my eyes turn to the scattered Japanese magazines on the floor right next to the silk dress I wore 2 days ago. Whose house is this anyway??! Who have I become?

A box of Zyrtec sits on the Eames era table 5 feet away. They're too far to reach. But I guess it's ok to sneeze once in a while.

Such a dreary night, and all that keeps playing on my mind are the following lines:

Ocean bird and fish are in love

This is accidental

Poor King Kong

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A lil' closer to home but not really

The 2008 Olympics torch came through SF today. Lining both sides of the Embarcadero were protesters as well as supporters of the event. It was quite exciting to be right where the action was until the re-route happened. Big bummer. Aside from heckling the crowd to show some protesting spirit (I was hoping for slight disarray, so I could snap pictures - thoughtful indeed), I actually managed to get a lot of work done today. So sure my apartment looks like its been hit by a tornado, I vow to take a break tonight and do nothing.

Lunch during the spectacle

I have to share this with you because it's super funny (disclaimer: for someone as easily amused as I am). When asked how the torch is transported, my coworker and friend Tanner said, "I dunno. FedEx?" You get the joke. If not, click here> here> or here>

More questions: my Auntie Christine asked the other day, when we were talking about social standards in Asia, if I would be opposed to getting a nose job, and I paused for a second before saying, "I'm not against plastic surgery by any means, but I like imperfection." And as I said it, I realized how I honestly do. If it weren't for the bf, there'd be a lot more things I'd hate about myself, nose included. Through a lot of positive reinforcement over the years, the same kind he grew up with, I managed to actually somewhat like who I am. And that's the perfect reminder of why I'm with him**

**even though "girls can be assholes sometimes" ;)

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Skunk season

A lotta things have been stinking this season. No kidding.

How appropriate it is then for Marc Jacobs to send a dancing skunk to each of his flagship Marc by Marc Jacobs store throughout the U.S. That man really is a genius. And because he's known to play dress-up all the time, I couldn't help but wish, every time I was in the store, that he was hidden within the fluffy costume. The experience is kicked up a few notches with amazing sales men/guys (the women can be catty) and the clothes of course, which are just to-die-for.

Shots taken with Auntie Christine this past weekend

Look Casey! More pics...

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Saying yes to carbs

3 years ago, my best friend and I were at The Cheesecake Factory stuffing ourselves silly with their signature dark wheat bread. After asking for second and third helpings, the server didn't even bother to be tactful, and blurted out: "I see you girls certainly aren't on a low-carb diet!" In our moment of buttery bliss, we weren't offended but rather just nodded cheerfully -- mouths full.

This, has been 1 of those carb-loving weeks. Sure I gained 5lbs from heavy drinking in March but who's saying carbs are fattening, right?

Nasi goreng belacan

Ramen noodles courtesy of Auntie Christine

Matzah brei with applesauce and maple syrup

A dash of cinnamon and tons of butter makes this oh-so-good!

Japanese tomato rice: the same kind served in kids' meals on airplane-shaped plates with a bottle of Yakult and chicken karaage. Yum!

Soup loaded with pasta & chunks of Acme Bread Co's epi loaf

Straight from a can, because I don't always have time

On a similar note, I just spent the past 6 hours baking. Non-stop. On a Friday night! Ugh...

Just had to get that out of my system ;)

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

A simple illustration

There's an endless list of reasons why I love the bf as much as I do, and can't stand us being apart. But 12AM isn't the right time to share that. In relevance, the screen shot above paints such a great picture.

Quick explanation: a stranger on Facebook with a hideous monster profile pic (named Robert) says, " seemed sexy enough to be added to my friend's list."

Well, you're not. Sorry.

Funny how in a world of losers, the simplest gesture with the sweetest intention stands out so much more.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Another jigsaw piece of my heart

...tucked neatly in between the pages of an old college text book

How I miss you both :(